Sunday, November 20, 2016


"Don't turn around, okay Mom?" Jack says. "I'm making a surprise." I hear dishes slide across the counter.

"Okay," I say. My fingers tap-tap across the computer keyboard. I flutter numbers and dollar signs into our family budget, flex my mind around the herculean effort of reconciling numbers. Like all great efforts it requires hours more than expected and yields peace. I gather a lay of the land and memorize the mountains and valleys.

When I turn around, finally: a sierra of gingerbread boys.

"It's a surprise for you," they say. Best of all they polish the kitchen to clean perfection, floors and all.

Peace settles over the house. It's not a sigh of having everything, but the long exhale of having all that matters. One by one we wrap our tired arms around each other and head to bed. Sleep holds us, gentle arms of strength encircle us.


6183. A dear friend surprises us with a visit, gift in tow.

6184. A neighbor passes on bags of used books.

6185. I continue the quiet repetition that is knitting to smooth the evenings. I finish a baby hat and start a sweater.

6186. I finish my original knitting pattern.

6187. Lucy plans out Christmas gifts and sets to making them.

6188. Jane too.

6189. Jack makes gingerbread boys with an army of helpers.

6190. Myra and Joe build forts in the sunroom and clean them up when they finish.

6191. Mom and I compare notes on all things Oswald Chambers and theology.

6192. A fresh pot of soup: meat and sweet potatoes. Mmmmm.

6193. Craig and Jane stack a chord of firewood.

6194. We roast a turkey for on hand when the baby is born.

6195. We watch with mirth as the baby's due date comes tomorrow and yet no baby.

6196. I take note of how each of our children is so different from all the others. I can't imagine how one more can yet be so different. It will be like unwrapping a gift each day.

6197. And we wait.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


"This onion is undeniably spirited," Jane says.

Me, shored up on the couch, I hear her load the crockpot with meat and vegetables: stew. Her, the first one to emerge healthy, fills our kitchen with wonderful food and cares for us. Nourishment comes, a fountain, a wellspring, manna to fill our bellies.


6176. My mom brings over a knitted blanket and a handmade quilt for the baby.

6177. Jane makes stew.

6178. We start the audio book of The Lord of the Rings.

6179. Jack makes chocolate chip cookies.

6180. A long headache finally abates.

6181. I find a dutch oven thrifting.

6182. We anxiously await the arrival of the baby, the anticipation an even all it's own.

6183. We continue to watch the state of our nation post election. It's like a page turning novel. We continue to pray God will bring revival, then turn our hearts to him for it to begin here.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


"No, no, not like THAT," I say. "Here," I extend a hand to Jane, snatch carrot and peeler, and stroke the long neck of a carrot down to soft orange flesh. "Like THIS."

"Oh. Ok," she says.

Company arriving in 15 minutes we scurry from cutting board to sink to counter top. I sigh.

"Are you mad?" she says.

Sigh. "No," I say.

"It just seems like you sort of are on edge," she says.

"Oh." I sigh again. "I guess, I sort of am. Sorry. You really are a huge help."

"Thanks," she says. "You are doing a ton too."

I sigh again, this time as if finally rolled over and ready for the backstroke. As if in tandem we work as each other's right hand.

"You two just keep talking to each other," Craig says. From the living room, he and Jack race the clock, competition gas in their engine.

Jane and I grin at each other, companionship better than a clock.


6169. Dear friends join us for dinner. Their heritage from half around the world, we marvel at how our lives overlap.

6170. I make lotions, deodorants, and toothpastes all week to stock up.

6171. Taco soup. All week. All the fixin's. Including finely chopped red bell pepper and full fat sour cream.

6172. We all get sick. A family of eight. So we lay around, listen to audio books, and take turns taking care of each other. Nourishment sprouts up between us.

6173. Craig's ears get cold from being sick. He settles on an old toddler hat that covers the ears just right.

6174. Pork loin soup to fill in the cracks.

6175. The election plods to conclude this Tuesday. We await with curiosity. We pray God will give us a better leader than we deserve.